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Michael Egbert

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Michael Egbert  More Info

About the Houston Police Department

The Houston Police Department is organized into four main entities: Administrative Operations; Patrol Operations; Investigative Operations and Support Operations.  The Patrol Operations has the largest number of personnel and is divided into two commands: North Patrol Command and South Patrol Command.  The Investigative Operations are also divided into two commands: Criminal Investigations Command and Special Investigations Command.  The Criminal Investigations Command organizes the detectives like many police agencies, that is, by type of crime.  Detectives in the Criminal Investigations Command of the Houston Police Department work: Auto Theft; Burglary and Theft; Homicide; Juvenile and Robbery.  Because they are seen as more sensitive areas, major police departments tend to break out certain types of investigative functions under a specialized command, or with some specialized police command oversight.  Houston Police Department has chosen this path in its Special Investigations Command which is responsible for Criminal Intelligence; Gangs; Major Offenders; Narcotics and Vice.


The City of Houston was founded by Augustus and John Kirby Allen brothers in 1836 and incorporated as a city the next year, 1837. As the city quickly grew, so did the need for a cohesive law enforcement agency. It was in 1841 that the Houston Police Department was founded. The first HPD badge issued bore the number "1."


The early part of the 20th century was a time of enormous growth for both the City of Houston and for the Houston Police Department. Due to growing traffic concerns in downtown Houston, the HPD purchased its first automobile in 1910 and created its first traffic squad during that same year. Eleven years later, in 1921, the Houston Police Department  installed the city's first traffic light. This traffic light was manually operated until 1927, when automatic traffic lights were installed.


As Houston became a larger metropolis throughout the 1930s and 1940s, the Houston Police Department found itself growing and acquiring more technology to keep up with the city's fast pace. The first homicide division was established in 1930. During that same year, the Houston Police Department purchased newer weapons to arm their officers: standard issue .44 caliber revolvers and two Thompson submachine guns. In 1939, the department proudly presented its first police academy class. The Houston Police Officers Association was created in 1945. This organization later became the Houston Police Officers Union.


Throughout the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, the Houston Police Department also experienced its own highs and lows. The first Houston Police Department bomb squad was created in 1966. The next year, 1967, saw massive riots at Texas Southern University. During the riots, one officer was killed and nearly 500 students were arrested. It was as a result of these riots that the still-active Community Relations Division was created within the Houston Police Department. In 1970, the Helicopter Patrol Division was created with three leased helicopters. That year also marked the department's first purchase of bulletproof vests for their officers. The Houston Police Department first Special Weapons and Tactical Squad (SWAT) was formed in 1975.






Michael Egbert first experienced law enforcement during his enlistment with the United States Navy.  In the Navy, he was temporarily assigned to the Armed Forces Police detachment on Guam.  His short assignment in the Navy changed the career course of his life.  After his discharge, Michael Egbert joined the Arapahoe County Sheriff Department as a jailer in 1973 and quickly transferred to patrol. He attended the state training academy in Golden, Colorado and achieving certification in November 1974.


His law enforcement career accelerated when he was hand picked to join the Special Crime Attack Team then promoted to the rank of Sergeant in December 1977. Michael furthered his career by joining the Houston Police Department in April 1981 and obtaining Texas State certification and currently holds the highest certification, that of Master Peace Officer.


For a short while, Michael was assigned to the Houston Police Department Helicopter Patrol where he gained more than 700 hours of flight time as an observer in 1985. Michael received media attention for an assignment he worked from 1989 through 1991 where he was credited with over 4000 arrests during that two-year period. In 1997 Michael represented the Houston Police Department as a member of the International Police Task Force in Bosnia.


Michael Egbert is the co-author of S.C.A.T.  According to the book description, “Michael Egbert spent 22 months with an undercover unit somewhere in Colorado where he dealt with an unbelievable array of career criminals. From spending the night in jail with a murderer to posing as an infamous underworld figure, Michael Egbert has a story to tell, a story that will keep you turning the pages, and wanting to read more. This book will give you a whole new appreciation for the brave men and women who protect and serve.”


One reader of S.C.A.T. remarked, “This was the first book I had ever read about law enforcement. I was hooked from the first chapter by its sensitivity. The stories showed brave men and women doing dangerous jobs while remaining sensitive to the victims. I laughed at times and bit my nails at other times anticipating what might happen next. I did not want the book to end and will be anxious to read Michaels next book. I sure hope there will be another one.”


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